A new series of renin inhibitors has been developed. The inhibitors feature a novel replacement for the P2/P3 dipeptide moiety normally associated with renin inhibitors. The dipeptide replacement was a (2S,4S)-3-aza(or oxa)-2,4-dialkylglutaric acid amide. Extensive structure-activity relationship studies determined that optimum potency was achieved when inhibitors employed a benzyl and butyl group at the C(4) and C(2) carbon position, respectively. In addition, maximum in vitro potency was obtained when the N-terminus was functionalized by incorporating a 4-(1,3-dioxabutyl)piperidine amide. SAR data suggested that the 1,3-dioxabutyl group (methoxymethyl ether) interacted by hydrogen bonding to groups in the S4 domain of renin. This hypothesis was strengthened when a 4-butylpiperidine amide was substituted and inhibitor potency decreased dramatically. Inhibitors employing this novel dipeptide mimic were prepared by coupling the glutaric acid amides with either the transition-state mimic (2S,3R,4S)-2-amino-1-cyclohexyl-3,4-dihydroxy-6- methylheptane (18) or the hydroxyethylene dipeptide isostere. The glutaric acid amides were prepared by two general procedures. The first procedure involved the reductive amination of alpha-amino acid esters with alpha-keto esters. The second procedure involved the displacement reaction of alpha-bromo esters or acids with alpha-amino acid amides.